The safety movement in the United States has developed

gradually since the early 1900s. 
In that time period, industrial accidents were common in

this country; for example, in 1907 over 3,200 people were killed in mining accidents. 
Working conditions for industrial employees today have

improved significantly.

It is important for students of industrial health and safety to first study the past.  Understanding the past can help safety and health professionals examine the present and future with a sense of perspective and continuity.  The continuum begins with the days of the ancient Babylonians. During that time, around 2000 BC, their ruler Hammurabi developed his Code of Hammurabi.  The code included all the laws of the land at that time, showed Hammurabi to be a just ruler, and set a model followed by other Mesopotamian kings .

 The significance of the code from the perspective of safety

and health is that it contained clauses 
dealing with injuries,  allowable fees for physicians, and  financial damages assessed against those who injured

This clause from the code illustrates Hammurabi s concern

for the proper handling of injuries; for example, If a man has caused the loss of a gentleman s eye, his own eye shall be caused to be lost,

. The Industrial Revolution then centered on the United States and Germany. and the conditions often unhealthy and unsafe. child labor in factories was common.MILESTONES IN THE SAFETY MOVEMENT  During the Industrial Revolution (1760 .  The first industrial revolution occurred in Great Britain and Europe during the late eighteenth century. the work hard.  The Industrial Revolution was of great importance to the economic development of the United States. The hours were long.1850).

the industrial revolution truly changed American society and economy into a modern urban -industrial state . The era known as the Industrial Revolution was a period in which fundamental changes occurred in agriculture. However. transportation.  The Industrial Revolution itself refers to a change from hand and home production to machine and factory. economic policies and the social structure in England. textile and metal manufacture.

 When the industrial sector began to grow in the United States. .  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was established in 1869 to study industrial accidents and report related information about those accidents. hazardous working conditions were common.  Factory inspection was introduced in Massachusetts in 1867.

 Although safety was not a major focus of his work. . Frederick Taylor began studying efficiency in manufacturing.  His purpose was to identify the impact of various factors on efficiency.  This connection between safety and management represented a major step toward broad-based safety consciousness. productivity. Around 1900. and profitability. Taylor did draw a connection between lost personnel time and management policies and procedures.

examine health hazards. Department of the Interior created the Bureau of Mines to investigate accidents.  One of the most important developments in the history of the safety movement occurred in 1908 when an early form of workers compensation was introduced in the United States. .S. In 1907. the U. and make recommendations for improvements.

 Three of the most significant events in the history of the safety and health movement were.TRAGEDIES THAT HAVE CHANGED THE SAFETY MOVEMENT  Safety and health tragedies in the workplace have greatly accelerated the speed of the safety movement in the United States. .

HAWK S NEST TRAGEDY  In the 1930s. . the public began to take notice of the health problems suffered by employees who worked in dusty environments.  The Great Depression was indirectly responsible for the attention given to an occupational disease that came to be known as silicosis.

 As the economic crash spread.  Unemployed miners and foundry (workplace for casting metal) workers began to experience problems finding new jobs when physical examinations revealed they had lung damage from breathing silica (silicon dioxide). business after business shut down and laid off its workers. .

. Insurance companies recommended pre-employment physicals as a way to prevent future claims based on preexisting conditions.  A company was given a contract to drill a passageway through a mountain located in the Hawk s Nest region of West Virginia.  Applicants with silica-damaged lungs were refused employment. Many of them took legal action.

At Hawks Nest. hundreds had died. It turned out that this particular mountain had an unusually high silica content. Workers spent as many as 10 hours per day breathing the dust created by drilling and blasting.  Silicosis is a disease that normally takes 10 to 30 years to show up in exposed workers.  By the time the project was completed. . workers began dying in as little time as a year.

. Today.  However. Approximately one million workers in the United States are still exposed to silica every year. silicosis is still a problem. dust-producing industries use a wide variety of administrative controls. and 250 people die annually from silicosis. engineering controls. and personal protective equipment to protect workers in dusty environments.

and even in the filters of cigarettes.  At the time of Selikoff s findings. ships. but in 1964 Dr. . factories. offices.ASBESTOS HAZARD  Asbestos was once considered a miracle fiber. asbestos was one of the most widely used materials in the United States. It was found in homes. Selikoff told 400 scientists at a conference on the biological effects of asbestos that this widely used material was killing workers. schools.

 Finally.800 workers who had been exposed to asbestos.  Regulations governing the use of asbestos were developed and standards for exposure were established. Dr. .  Now. there is an industry wide effort to protect workers who must remove asbestos from old buildings and ships during remodeling. or demolition projects. asbestos became a controlled material. renovation. in the 1970s and 1980s. Selikoff studied the mortality rate of 17.

000 people in its result. it was discovered that the protective equipment that could stopped the approaching disaster was not in full working order. 1984.  After the accident.BHOPAL TRAGEDY  On the morning of December 3. over 40 tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) and other poisonous gases. including hydrogen cyanide. leaked into the northern end of Bhopal. . killing more than 3.

 The International Medical Commission visited Bhopal to assess the situation and found that as many as 50. the owner of the chemical plant in Bhopal. India.000 other people were exposed to the poisonous gas and may still suffer disability as a result. Union Carbide. was charged.  This disaster shocked the world. . where the incident occurred.

.ROLE OF ORGANIZED LABOR  Organized labor has played a critical role in the development of the safety movement in the United States.  From the start of the industrial Revolution in this country. organized labor has fought for safer working conditions and appropriate compensation for workers injured on the job.

ROLE OF SPECIFIC HEALTH PROBLEMS Specific health problems associated with the workplace have contributed to the development of the modern safety and health movement.  Lung cancer tied to asbestos. These problems include:  Lung diseases in coal miners  Mercury poisoning is another health problem that has contributed to the development of the safety and health movement by focusing public attention on unsafe conditions in the workplace. .

led to  legislation  regulations  better  better . . and working conditions. These health problems contributed to public awareness of dangerous and unhealthy working conditions that. in turn. work procedures. .

DEVELOPMENT OF ACCIDENT PREVENTION TECHNIQUES  Widely used accident prevention techniques include: Failure minimization Fail-safe designs Isolation Lockouts Personal protective equipment Timed replacements .

 Employees were willing to learn and accept safety rules. .  With these realizations came the long-needed incentive for employers to begin playing an active role in creating and maintaining a safe workplace. according to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. For example. industry began to realize the following:  Improved engineering could prevent accidents.  Financial savings from safety improvement could be obtained by savings in compensation and medical bills. during world war 2.  Safety rules could be established and enforced.

made less dangerous. and enforcement. the processes used to manufacture it can be simplified and. as a result. Early safety programs were based on the three E s of safety.  The engineering aspects of a safety program involve making design Improvements to both product and process. .  By altering the design of a product. engineering. education.

 The education aspect of a safety program ensures that employees know how to work safely.  The enforcement aspect of a safety program involves making sure that employees abide by safety policies.  Safety education typically covers the what. and how of safety. regulations. and that safety is expected by management. and procedures. practices. rules.  Supervisors and fellow employees play a key role in the enforcement aspects of modern safety programs. when. . why it is Important to do so. where. why.

DEVELOPMENT OF SAFETY ORGANIZATIONS  The development of the safety movement in the United States has been helped by the parallel development of safety organizations. Well-known among these are:  The National Safety Council (NSC)  The National Safety Management Society  The American Society of Safety Engineers  The American Industrial Hygiene Association .

particularly those caused by toxic substances. Dyktor. . G. there is widespread understanding of the importance of providing a safe and healthy workplace.  One of the earliest and most speaking promoters of the cooperative or integrated approach was H. He proposed the following objectives of integration:  Learn more through sharing knowledge about health problems in the workplace.SAFETY AND HEALTH MOVEMENT TODAY  Today.

 Make employee . health and safety a high priority.  Encourage accident prevention.  Provide a broad database that can be used to compare health and safety problems experienced by different companies in the same industry. Provide a greater level of expertise in evaluating health and safety problems.

INTEGRATED APPROACH TO SAFETY AND HEALTH  This integrated approach has become the norm that demonstrates the safety and health movement of today. . predict.  By working together and drawing on their own respective areas of expertise. safety and health professionals are better able to identify. and correct safety and health problems. control.

. OSHA reinforces the integrated approach by requiring companies to have a plan for doing at least the following: (1) providing appropriate medical treatment for injured or ill workers. (2) regularly examining workers who are exposed to toxic substances. (3) having a qualified first-aid person available during all working hours.

 Smaller companies may contract out the fulfillment of these requirements. the health and safety staff in a modern industrial company may include the following positions: . Larger companies often maintain a staff of safety and health professionals.  According to Hamilton and Hardy.

 In this way.Industrial hygiene chemist and/or engineer  Companies that use toxic substances may employ Industrial hygiene chemists periodically to test the work environment and the people who work in it. . unsafe conditions or hazardous levels of exposure can be identified early and corrective or preventive measures can be taken.

.Radiation control specialist  Companies that use or produce radioactive materials employ radiation control specialists who are typically electrical engineers or physicists. develop companywide plans for handling radiation accidents. and implement decontamination procedures when necessary. respond to radiation accidents. test workers for levels of exposure.  Those specialists monitor the radiation levels to which workers may be exposed.

accident investigation. In smaller companies.Industrial safety engineer or manager  Individuals serving as industrial safety engineers or managers are safety and health generalists with specialized education and training. and education and training. they are responsible for developing and carrying out the company s overall safety and health program including accident prevention. .  In either case.  In larger companies. they may have other duties in addition to safety and health. they may be devoted to safety and health matters.

 educators.Other professionals who may be part of a company s safety and health team include  occupational nurses.  physicians.  counselors. .  psychologists. and  dietitians.

. NEW PROCESSES.NEW MATERIALS.  The materials out of which products are made have become increasingly complex and unusual. AND NEW PROBLEMS  The job of the safety and health professional is more complex than it has ever been.

magnesium. alloy steels. lead. molybdenum. stainless steels. tungsten. managing stasis. . tin. zinc. and powdered metals. titanium. cast irons. cast steels.  Each of these metals requires its own specialized processes. aluminum. Engineering metals now include carbon steels. high-strength low-alloy steels. copper.

and ceramics also bring theft own potential hazards to the workplace.  Plastics. advanced composites. elastomers. plastic alloys and blends. fibrous materials. Nonmetals are more numerous and have also become more complex. .

. modern industrial processes are also becoming more complex. In addition to the more complex materials being used in modern industry and the new safety and health concerns associated with them. the potential hazards associated with them often increase.  As these processes become automated.

water-jet cutting expert systems. . lasers. industrial robots. and computerintegrated manufacturing have all introduced new safety and health problems in the workplaces and new challenges for the safety and health professional. Computers. ultrasonic machining. and chemical milling. photochemical machining. automated material handling. laser beam machining. flexible manufacturing cells. nontraditional processes such as explosive welding.

RAPID GROWTH IN THE PROFESSION  The complexities of the modern workplace have made safety and health a growing profession. .  Several colleges and universities offer full degrees in occupational safety and health.  Associate and baccalaureate degree programs in industrial technology typically include industrial safety courses.

the users of their products. and the recipients. the community. The expected result of the increased attention given to safety and health is that more large companies are employing safety and health professionals and more small companies are assigning these duties to existing employees.  This is a trend that is likely to continue as employers see their responsibilities for safety and health spread beyond the workplace to the environment. .